Wednesday, 24 October 2012

The Poems: A Nest of Tongues

The Poems: A Nest of Tongues: Poems & Story in Scots & English by Sheena Blackhall.Pub by Malfranteaux Concepts Aberdeen ISBN : 978 1 870978 91 0. Printed by Thistle Reprographics, 55 Holburn Street Aberdeen. Cover: Pandemonium, August 1914: by George Grosz (archival sources)Cost: £4.00. The cover image is a drawing by the German artist George Grosz (1893-1959) who considered himself a propagandist of the social revolution. He not only depicted victims of the catastrophe of the First World War - the disabled, crippled, and mutilated - he also portrayed the collapse of capitalist society and its values. His wartime line drawings show him to be a master of caricature. What the Dickens is due to be published in ‘Down Memory Lane’, an anthology by Forward Poetry, Peterborough in Winter 2012. Some of these poems have already been published on Many were written during an Autumn trip to Holland and the Rhine. Auld Yowe has been accepted by Lallans mag for issue 81.'Willie' will be published in the Cromar Echo, Tarland.

Friday, 21 September 2012

The Stories: Peach Blossom Petals: Folk Tales & Poems from Vietnam

The Stories: Peach Blossom Petals: Folk Tales & Poems from Vietnam. Owersetts in Scots by Sheena Blackhall. Published by Malfranteaux Concepts. ISBN : 978 1 870978 90 3 (2012)Printed by Thistle Reprographics, 55 Holburn Street Aberdeen Front Cover: Jessica Le Blackhall. Back Cover: Jessica Le Blackhall & her great grandmother, Lac Le Thi, in Dien Ban Quang Nam, Da Nang. Cost: £4.00. Copyright: S. Blackhall. This is the writer's 15th collection of short stories. I am indebted to Nga Le Blackhall, my daughter in law, for providing the photos throughout this publication, with the exception of those of the monkey, the turtle photos and the gecko. The front cover photograph, taken in the farming village of Dien Ban Quang Nam in the province of Da Nang, is of Jessica Le Blackhall, my grand-daughter. The back cover photograph is of Jessica Le Blackhall (aged 1) with her great grandmother, Lac Le Thi (aged 92) also in Dien Ban Quang Nam. Most of the poems are Scots owersets of Ca dao by Sheena Blackhall from English translations on Wikivietlit by Linh Dinh. Linh Dinh was born in 1963, in Saigon, Vietnam and is a Vietnamese-American poet, fiction writer, translator, and photographer. ‘The term ca dao (derived from a line in the Wei Wind section of the classic Chinese folk poetry anthology, Shi Jing, or Books of Odes) can be loosely translated as “unaccompanied songs.” Ca: to sing; dao: to sing without music. The ca dao poems, transmitted orally, sustained and nourished the Vietnamese language through its centuries of domination and influence by China…Outside of the official purview, the ca dao poems flourished, telling of the everyday life and concerns of ordinary Vietnamese. The poems tend to be short--with many comprised of a single couplet of fourteen syllables (three less than a standard haiku)--but there are also many longer ones with 20 lines or more. Ca dao can be of four-syllable lines, with end rhymes.’ Linh Dinh

Monday, 3 September 2012

The Poems: Cleaning the Apostle Spoons

Cleaning the Apostle Spoons: Poems in Scots & English, Published by Malfranteaux Concepts Aberdeen, ISBN 978 1 870978 59 0. Printed by Thistle Reprographics, 55 Holburn Street Aberdeen. Cover:An adaptation of a Wikipedia jpg by Sìne NicTheàrlaich Cost: £4.00 Copyright: S. Blackhall 2012. ‘The history of humanity is one of migration, settling, then more migration. Whether the migration is defensive or aggressive is almost secondary in the long run. The fact is people move and ever faster, ever further now than they have ever done. The process of identifying with a place, a state, a language, a history, or a group of some sort whether religious or ethnic or kin, involves a complex and troubled negotiation between conflicting forces. The places we cling to are in the imagination as much as in time and space though we welcome the confirmations of time and place when we can get them.’ Extract from Apostle spoons were particularly popular in Pre-Reformation times when belief in the services of a patron saint was still strong. They were found in large numbers in Germany. Originating in the early fifteenth century in Europe as spoons used at table, by the sixteenth century they had become popular as baptismal presents for godchildren. In some communities they were used until at least the mid-twentieth century. In the Spirit of the Kaki Tree and Dandy Disraeli are due to be published in ‘Inspired: A Collection of Poetry’, by Forward Poetry, Peterborough in Autumn 2012. Some of these poems have already been published on Many were written during a Summer break in Glasgow; the war poems are due to appear in The Field Marischal’s Brandy, an upcoming Malfranteaux Concepts pamphlet. A Question of Science was written to mark the The British Science Festival (4 – 9 September 2012, hosted by the University of Aberdeen.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

The Poems: Impossible Gifties

New collection of ten poems
by Sheena Blackhall
celebrating Edinburgh's Book Sculptures
exhibited as part of the GIFTED Tour
at Aberdeen's Central Library until September 6th 2012

(Gifted Tour organised by the Scottish Poetry Library in partnership with
Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature).

Impossible Gifties will be available from Severin Books early in September.

Friday, 3 August 2012

The Poems: The Merry Dancers

The Poems The Merry Dancers: ISBN 1 870 978 22 4. A collaboration between Tom Hubbard and Sheena Blackhall. Poems, ballads and tales from the North Sea and the Baltic, in Scots and English, published by Malfranteaux Concepts, Aberdeen 2012, printed by Thistle Reprographics, 55 Holburn Street, Aberdeen. Cover designed by Claire Hubbard. Kirkhill Primary School in Aberdeen was working on a project for children, ‘Stories from the North Sea Shore’, which aims to link the east coast of Scotland with its neighbouring coasts in mainland Europe. The idea inspired this joint pamphlet of poems by Blackhall and Hubbard exploring the folklore and translations from points along these coasts and some way inland, for general readership. The pamphlet is their response to the cultures of Aberdeenshire, Fife, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgian Flanders, Baltic Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Norway and the Faeroes. A Writer’s Residency at the Château de Lavigny in Switzerland gave Dr Hubbard the time and conditions to work on his part of the closing stages of the project. Both Blackhall and Hubbard are graduates of Aberdeen University. Claire Hubbard graduated BA in Design and Creativity from Dundee College.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

The Poems:Steens

STEENS:Poems & Tales in Scots & English by Sheena Blackhall. Pub. Malfranteaux Concepts Aberdeen July 2012 ISBN 978 1 870978 22 4. Printed by Thistle Reprographics, 55 Holburn Street Aberdeen. Cover: Amoghavira c/o Dhanakosa Buddhist Retreat Centre, Balquhidder.Some of these poems were written on a writing retreat at the Triratna Buddhist Centre, Dhanakosa, in June 2012. Others were written on research at the Orkney Islands in July 2012. Various poems have already been published on

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

The Poems: Matzevot:A Walk on the Face of Gravestones

The Poems: Matzevot: A Walk on the Face of Gravestones. ISBN 9778 1 870978 19 4. Published by Malfranteaux Concepts, May 2012 Printed by Thistle Reprographics, 55 Holburn Street Aberdeen. Some of these poems were inspired by works in the Aberdeen Artists’ 2012 Exhibition. The Animal Refugees is to be published in a forthcoming schools’ anthology published by Madhubun Education Books for classes 1-8 in Uttar Pradesh, India. Another poem submitted to Inspired? Get Writing, (the National Galleries of Scotland) won a certificate of Special Merit. Buddha at the Bodhi Tree, Sri Lanka, is published on the Dong Hung Temple Buddhist Education Centre website, Sri Lanka. The Korean owersetts are published in the magazine Cabhsair/Causeway Volume 3 issue 1. In Praise o Lallans is published in Lallans magazine. Several poems were written during an on- site visit to Cambridge. The stories were written as a result of historical research carried out for the children’s book, Apardion,published by the Aberdeen Reading Bus. The English poems will be published on My Favourite Place in Scotland: Balquhidder Eden, appears on the website hosted by the Scottish Book Trust and BBC Radio Scotland. See for a comprehensive list of the poet’s work. May 2012 Copyright, Sheena Blackhall

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

The Poems:Three Cats Flying

The Poems: Three Cats Flying.Three Cats Flying. Pub: Malfranteaux Concepts, Aberdeen 2012 ISBN 978 1 870978 32 3. March 2012. The Cover: ‘In 1941, Jewish-American photographer Philippe Halsman met the surrealist artist Salvador Dalí in New York City and they began to collaborate in the late 1940s. The 1948 work Dali Atomicus explores the idea of suspension, depicting three cats flying, water thrown from a bucket, an easel, a footstool and Salvador Dalí all seemingly suspended in mid-air. The title of the photograph is a reference to Dalí's work Leda Atomica (which can be seen in the right of the photograph behind the two cats.) This is the unretouched version of the photograph that was published in LIFE magazine. In this version the wires suspending the easel and the painting, the hand of the assistant holding the chair and the prop holding up the footstool can still be seen. The frame on the easel is still empty. The copyright for this photo was registered with the U.S. Copyright Office but according to the U.S. Library of Congress was not renewed, putting it in the public domain in the United States and elsewhere...The photograph is Halsman’s homage both to the new atomic age (prompted by physicists’ then-recent announcement that all matter hangs in a constant state of suspension) and to Dalí’s surrealist masterpiece "Leda Atomica" (seen on the right, behind the cats, and unfinished at the time). It took six hours, 28 jumps, and a roomful of assistants throwing angry cats and buckets of water into the air to get the perfect exposure.’ (Extracts from Wikipedia).Some of these poems were inspired by the exhibition From Van Gogh to Vettriano, Hidden Gems from Private Collections (2012), Aberdeen Art Gallery. The stories emerged from historical research funded by the Aberdeen Reading Bus, into some of the city’s heritage sites. The English poems are published online at I am indebted to Sir Duncan Rice for bringing to my intention The Death of Kjartan and Audun’s Bear, which are here rendered in Scots. The cover is a copy of Dali Atomicus by the Jewish-American photographer Philippe Halsman.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

The Honey That Came From The Sea

The Honey That Came From The Sea
Now also available as a free eBook, download it free at choose from all of the popular formats.
Sony, Kindle,Apple iPad/iBooks, Kobo and more.

The Chimaera Institute

The Chimaera Institute

Now available as a free eBook, download it free at choose from all of the popular formats.
Sony, Kindle,Apple iPad/iBooks, Kobo and more.